My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The preface makes it clear that this is a series of essays (30-45 mins ea.) meant for reflection and not for apologetic discourse and theology/philosophy. While they contain a unifying theme and is directly targets to a relatively small audience of Catholic Intellectuals, it is useful for reflection by the laity as well. In general, these essays identify a tension between modern secular culture, grounded in rational/intellectual ideals and the traditional culture of the church grounded in faith/spirituality. These essay attempt to argue for the necessity of a synthesis between the two … without surrendering the putative authority of the magisterium … by appealing to the belief that [American] culture sees religion as the basis for communicating a moral code that tells us how to what we should do [as well as what we should think] that us a way to behave within society. All of this appears to be used as a foundation for essay 7 and the rehabilitation of Vatican II as a means to renew the mission of the Church to change the world by renewing/reforming the Church to be able to “talk to everyone” aka ecumenism. There is an interesting caveat here that highlight the danger of the Church losing its identify if it abandons its intellectual roots to become absorbed into service where there is no call for conversion (the primary mission of the Church). The last essay continue the rehabilitation effort for recent Popes attempting to preserve their moral authority and leadership.
Over all these was an interesting series if lacking in much depth; however, in view of the stated goal in the preface, it accomplished what it sets out to do, so I am inclined to give due credit with respect to how it rates against other works in the genre even as the preferred audience remains fairly restrictive (I doubt it would hold much interest for those outside the Catholic Church).
Preface and Retrospective
Chapter 1 - Saints in Catholic Intellectual Life
Chapter 2 - An Integrate Life
Chapter 3 - How God Thinks
Chapter 4 - A Christian Intellectual in a Post Christian Society
Chapter 5 - A Christian Intellectual and the Moral Life
Chapter 6 - Education that Integrates Culture and Religion
Chapter 7 - Integrating the Second Vatican Council
Chapter 8 - Recent Popes and the Renewal of Catholic Intellectual Life
I was given this free advance listener copy (ALC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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